It’s noisy out there.

It’s not anything new: Businesses, small and large, are in direct competition with each other, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to tell from the outside who the better choice is. And there are more and more new businesses every year (or, rather, every day).

When so much competition is present, and there isn’t anything obviously different to a potential customer, how can yours stand apart?

  • How can you let consumers know your product or service is superior?
  • How can you portray higher quality?
  • Why should consumers choose your product, even if it’s a bit more expensive?

People are smart.

Customers are savvy and can spot professional (or amateur) design immediately. Investing in professional design isn’t really a luxury for a business, it’s a necessity. My advice:

  1. Don’t skimp on design because you’re new. If your cousin’s daughter is designing your logo, think twice about that choice.
  2. Develop personas: Imagine an ideal customer who doesn’t know you or your business. What are they looking for? What needs does your business fill for them? Let this persona guide your decisions.
  3. Don’t lose sight of your vision. As small businesses encounter more and more expenses, a bit of that initial passion and drive gets dampened. Write your ultimate vision and mission down, and reread it to stay on track.

First impressions matter.

People are fast to judge, unfortunately. A sign, website, or brochure that reaches a consumer has an average of two nanoseconds* to grab their attention, gain their trust, and interest them enough to pursue it further.

(*A made up scientific fact based on reality)

Speak to them, not at them.

Great design is about connection. Connecting with customers requires careful thought to actually work. I work with my clients to discover these things before anything is designed:

  1. Who are we trying to reach with this website
    (brochure, Facebook page, etc.)?
  2. What perceptions are we trying to create with the look and feel
    of your brand?
  3. What actions do I want my target audience to take?

Where to start?

There is a lot to think about. But the good news is most consumers are going online to check out businesses first. It is well within our control what they see when they arrive at our website or Facebook page. My recommendation is usually to start with the basics:

  1. Logo
  2. Business cards
  3. Website

From there, it really depends on your particular business needs. I’ve worked with startups who have invested a little more in packaging design, where some put everything into a set of printed brochures.

Any questions, I’m always an email away.


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